Vasant Narvatri started on March 16th this year and honors all nine forms of Durga Mother and the power of Shakti. All other festivals of the Hindu calendar begin with Vasant Navrati. It is in this month that creation started.
Here is the exciting adventure and story of Vasant Navratri:
King Dhruvasindu of Kosala went lion hunting. Unfortunately, the lion attacked him and the King was killed. As preparations were carried out to crown Prince Sudarsana, some family members started a big fight. They wanted their grandsons to be crowned king instead. King Virasena was killed in battle. Prince Sudarsana fled with Queen Monorama and a eunuch to a hermitage of a Rishi. King Yuhajit crowned his grandson, Satrujit, as the King. He chased after the Queen and Prince. The Rishi wouldn't allow him to take them from the Ashram. His minister agreed with the Rishi, so the King returned to Ayodhya. A hermit's son came to the Ashram and called the eunuch by his Sanskrit name: Kleeba. The prince pronounced it Kleem. This is a powerful, sacred mantra to the Mother. He repeated the mantra over and over again. Devi appeared to him, gave him a blessing, and divine weapons and a magical quiver. One day emissaries of the King of Benaries came to the Ashram and saw the prince. They told him about the Princess Sashikala, the king's daughter. She had a cermony to to choose her own husband, and she chose Prince Sudarsana. Yudhajit showed up at their wedding and made a big scene and got into a big fight. He started making fun of Devi Mother. That was a big mistake! She turned him and his army into ashes. The prince, princess and father-in-law worshiped the Mother with havan during Vasant Navratri. The Mother disappeared. The prince and princess returned to the Ashram. The Rishi blessed them and crowned the prince King of Kosala. Of course, two great descendants, Shri Ram and Latchman worshiped the Mother at Vasant Navratri before they journeyed to recover Mother Sita. It is on the 9th Day of Navratri we celebrate Ram's Appearance Day. Years later, he married Mother Sita on the same day.
In the story of Prince Sudarsana, we see that when you deny the Mother Principles, the Shakti power behind everything, nothing succeeds. Everything turns to ashes. The prince, princess, and father-in-law believed in the Mother Principles and succeeded. The principles are: justice, truth, and social change/progress. Mother Durga was the symbol of Gandhi's Great Movement. He lived her principles of truth force in every thing he did in the world. He was one of the greatest Karma Yogis because his every action was dedicated to the Mother Principles.
I would like to talk about what Pandit Rajin, my Guru, has to say about the spiritual significance of Navratri. He is doing a series of kathas on Navratri March 16-21 at Shiva Mandir in Queens, NY. He is also doing kathas in Berbice, Guyana, March 22-24 on Navratri & Ram's Appearance Day. He has this to say about Navratri: "For devotees, this is the most important period by which a spiritual seeker can advance in the realm of self-realization, self-worth and self-esteem. It's the time where one comes to realize his or her potential and comes to know that the power behind his or her action is divine."
JAI SHRI DURGA! LION ROAR!